Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles incurred the largest dead cap space by any one player in NFL history. The debt came from former quarterback Carson Wentz, acquired after a trade to the Indianapolis Colts.
With Wentz’s dead money now off the books, one would think Philadelphia is in a much better spot. But, the Eagles still have $52 million in dead cap space heading into the 2022 season. According to Over The Cap, the money is split between 14 current and former players.
THE EAGLES DEAD MONEY
Fletcher Cox — $9,641,408
From the No. 1 highest-paid Eagles’ player last season, to the No. 1 highest dead cap — Fletcher Cox has added $9.6 million to Philadelphia’s debt. Earlier this offseason, the defensive lineman was released from the team, then signed a one-year contract the following day. The deal helped create some cap space.
Cox explained, “I knew they wanted me here. That was just part of the process Everything was respectively professional and obviously, I appreciate the organization for that, and we got things figured.”
He will now play the 2022 season under a $14 million deal.
Malik Jackson — $9,033,000
Early last offseason, the Eagles destructed Malik Jackson’s contract, with the intent to cut him. Though the restructured deal saved Philadelphia $8 million last year, his dead money was spread out over two seasons.
The defensive tackle went on to play for the Cleveland Browns and is now currently a free agent.
Derek Barnett — $7,248,800
Derek Barnett has been with the Eagles since 2017. Philadelphia signed him as a first round draft pick, and unfortunately, he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations.
After racking up the most penalties for the Eagles, he became a free agent following the 2021 season. But, the Eagles decided to bring him back for another two years. Despite the move, he still comes with a dead money hit of $7.2 million.
The defensive end will now make $5.5 million if he plays every game this coming season. For 2023, his salary will be $8.5 million; however, only $1.5 million is actually guaranteed.
Brandon Brooks — $5,939,235
The Eagles are taking a hit here — not just in finances, but also in strength. Earlier this offseason, offensive lineman Brandon Brooks announced his retirement from the NFL. After ten seasons (five with the Eagles), the three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champ decided to call it quits.
Brooks became the high-paid guard in the NFL after signing a four-year contract extension worth $54.2 million in 2019. His contract was then restructured in 2022 in preparation for his retirement. The move saved the Eagles $12 million; however, he will account for a total of $9 million in dead cap space between 2022 and 2023.
Alshon Jeffery — $5,435,706
Similar to Malik Jackson, Alshon Jeffery’s final year of his four-year contract was restructured in 2021. The restructure meant a significant pay cut for Jeffery, as well as an eventual release.
Though he accounts for $5.4 million in Philadelphia’s dead money, he ultimately saved the Eagles $10.8 million. Jeffery is currently a free agent.
Zach Ertz — $3,548,000
The trade no one wanted to see happen — Zach Ertz was sent to the Arizona Cardinals in October 2021. As one of the best tight-ends in the NFL, Ertz finished a career in Philadelphia with 579 receptions for 6,267 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns.
He left $3.5 million in dead money for the Eagles, but he was a superstar, so can you really be mad?
Anthony Harris — $2,408,000
After receiving a franchise tag from the Minnesota Vikings in 2020 and signing a tender, the Eagles signed Anthony Harris to a one-year deal in 2021. The contract was worth $5 million.
When targeted, he allowed a pass rating of 68.7 and a completion percentage of 51.1%, the best of his career.
The Eagles resigned the safety to another one-year deal, bringing him back for 2022, but he also comes with $2.4 million in dead money.
Rodney McLeod — $2,140,000
Rodney McLeod was another sad one to see go. After six seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, he became an unrestricted free agent in the 2022 offseason.
While in Philly, McLeod completed 347 total tackles, 34 pass breakups, 11 interceptions, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. He also had one touchdown, two sacks, and was a part of the Super Bowl team in 2018.
He will now join the Indianapolis Colts and leaves behind $2.1 million in debt.
Joe Flacco — $1,940,000
After the Philadelphia Eagles signed Joe Flacco to a one-year deal in 2021, the former Super Bowl MVP never payed a down for The Birds. He was traded in October, returning to his previous team, the New York Jets.
Steven Nelson — $1,508,000
Before joining the Eagles, Steven Nelson played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He requested a termination of his contract in 2021, eventually playing the entirety of Philadelphia’s 2021 season.
As a free agent, Nelson signed with the Houston Texans in April of 2022. His departure left the Eagles’ cornerback position dry, but after some much needed upgrades, this no longer poses a problem.
Eric Wilson — $1,372,000
Fans were excited about Eric Wilson last season. The Eagles signed him to a one-year, $3.25 million deal, after playing for the Minnesota Vikings since 2017.
Unfortunately, he didn’t make a huge impact and lost his job to T.J. Edwards. Wilson was released in November 2021. Since then, the Houston Texans claimed him off waivers and the New Orleans Saints signed him.
Ryan Kerrigan — $1,140,000
After ten seasons with the (then) Washington Football Team, the Eagles signed Ryan Kerrigan to a one-year deal in 2021.
As a four-time Pro Bowler who racked up 95.5 career sacks, he had zero last season (with the exception of 1.5 during the post-season). He is now a free agent.
Rick Lovato — $375,000
Rick Lovato has been Philadelphia’s long snapper since 2016. In 2019, he signed a four-year contract extension and became a first-time Pro Bowler.
Last season, the Eagles waived him to help create space. He was re-signed to the 53-man roster the following day.
John Hightower — $150,026
The Eagles drafted John Hightower in 2020. He completed 10 receptions for 167 receiving yards. The wide receiver was waived in 2021, re-signed to the practice squad, placed on the COVID list, activated, then signed to a reserve/future contract.
He did not play for the entirety of the 2021 season and it’s unlikely fans will see him in 2022 given the Eagles’ newest additions at the wide receiver position.